Transparency in Local Government
The City of San
Luis Obispo Supports Transparency in Local Government
In light of the
recent news headlines regarding the City of Bell, the City of San Luis
Obispo has received requests for employee compensation and benefit
information. Residents should be assured the City prides itself on
transparency and citizen involvement. Our
fourteen advisory bodies
are one indication of the level citizen involvement. Another
is the public goal-setting process used by the City Council to
prioritize expenditures in the two-year financial plans, and annual
The City of San Luis
Obispo believes access to information empowers citizens and, therefore,
all of the City’s important municipal documents such as City Council agendas and staff reports, various
financial documents, current
salary ranges for all City classifications, and the City’s
Municipal Code are readily available on the City’s website, and have
been for years.
The following are
answers to the most common questions the City has received regarding
How much does the City
pay the City Manager?
The City Manager, Katie Lichtig, earns a base salary of $221,520 per year.
In addition, she receives a benefits package (retirement, insurance, car
allowance, etc.) of $91,511, for a total compensation rate of $313,031
annually. The spreadsheet of
Appointed Official and Department Head Annual Salary and Benefits
lists the salary, retirement, insurance, and car or uniform benefit that
each employee receives.
How many vacation
and sick leave days do the City Manager and Department Heads receive?
The City Manager accrues 160 hours of
vacation a year and 96 hours of sick leave a year. The maximum number of
vacation days that can be accrued is twice the annual accrual rate (for
the City Manager it is 320 hours). Although any unused vacation can be
cashed out at the end of employment, it does not affect final
compensation for the calculation of retirement benefits. The spreadsheet
Appointed Official and Department Head Annual Leave Accrual Rates
lists the vacation, administrative leave, sick, and holiday hours each
Does the City Council know how much the City
The City Council
approved Contract of Employment for Katie Lichtig in an open City Council
December 15, 2009. The employment contract does not provide for any
salary increases or automatic adjustments included for inflation. Any
proposed increases in compensation or benefits would come before the
City Council for approval at a regular City Council meeting. A copy of
Katie Lichtig’s current Employment Agreement with the City can be
reviewed on the City’s
Employee Contracts page.
What do other City employees earn?
The salary range for
every City employee classification can be found on the City’s
Salary Schedule webpage. Benefit information can be found in the
Benefits Summary, or by reviewing the detailed
Memorandum of Agreements (MOA’s) for each bargaining unit. All cost
of living and benefits adjustments must be approved by Council in a
regular City Council meeting. Additionally, the City Council has an
compensation philosophy to guide decisions about compensation.
How much does the Mayor and City Council earn?
The Mayor receives
$1200 per month and each Council member receives a monthly salary of
$1000, as specified by the
Council Policies and Procedures Manual.
City Council members are
also enrolled in PERS, with the City paying the Council Members’
contribution. City Council members are eligible to receive health
insurance and receive the same contribution amount as Department Head
employees, although they may not receive cash in lieu of insurance if
they have coverage through another provider. Council compensation is
reviewed with the assistance of a citizen committee every two years.
Any changes proposed to City Council member salaries or benefits must be
passed by a City Council resolution during a public hearing.
How can I talk to City Council members about
what’s happening in the City?
The San Luis Obispo
City Council meets on the first and third Tuesdays of each month, at
6:00 p.m., in the Council Chambers at City Hall (990 Palm Street). Other
meetings or study sessions are held as needed.
Agenda documents and related staff reports are posted to the City’s
website prior to all scheduled meetings. Residents are encouraged to
attend and participate in City Council meetings.
Live video and audio streams of City Council Meetings are available
online or on Charter television Channel 20. You can also check the
The City of San Luis Obispo wants residents to be fully informed about
their local government. If you have questions, comments, or concerns
regarding any of the information you reviewed on this site, please go to
How Are We Doing? page and submit your concerns, or use the
directory to contact a specific department representative for